10 Best Self-Tanner: Reviews and Buying Guide

Self-tanning products are among the sought-after care products. Without the dangerous UV rays of the sun, they give pale winter skin a summery complexion. Unfortunately, tanning products do not have the best reputation. The main criticisms include stains, an unpleasant odor, and a greasy consistency. Which self-tanner deliver a consistent result? How can we avoid unsightly discoloration? Can you tan and care for your skin at the same time?

Top 10 Self-Tanner

Why is a self-tanner browning?

Apply a self-tanner, tint your skin by a chemical reaction on the skin surface. This has nothing to do with the natural suntan. A basic prerequisite for this process is dihydroxyacetone – short DHA. This is a type of sugar that occurs in the body.

DHA reacts with certain substances in the uppermost skin layer. As a result, the cells form dark pigments. The DHA concentration determines the intensity of the tan. The whole process can take four to five hours. Other high-tech ingredients together with DHA ensure the most even, natural tan. From a health point of view, you should cream yourself several times or spray instead of going in the sun!

What does self-tanner consist of?

The effect of this substance has come to light by accident when, in 1920, a series of tests were carried out to test potential diabetic sweeteners. The substance dihydroxyacetone also appeared. We are dealing with a sugar-like compound that is useless as a sweetener. What was noticed during the experiments was an isolated brown discoloration of the uppermost skin layer in the children. They had some saliva from the mouth over the skin, which led to a tanning effect.

It should take another 30 years before 1950 DHA was marketed as a self-tanner. This skin discoloration is the Maillard reaction responsible. So also roasted meat gets its brown color and the aromatic taste. DHA reacts with proteins and amino acids directly in the upper skin layer where melanoidins form. But the tanning is not permanent. Two to three days after applying the self-tanner, the body gradually repels the dyed horny layer. For you, this is visible in paler skin color.

Purchase guide Selbstbräuner: What to consider?

Basically, a healthy alternative to UV light is always in demand when it comes to skin health. Today there are the tanning in different variants, as

  • emulsions
  • Cream,
  • Spray,
  • Gel or
  • Mousse.

When buying the self-tanner should necessarily fit the skin type.

For the light skin types, a DHA proportion of 2% is recommended, whereas the Mediterranean, dark skin types use a correspondingly higher proportion of DHA. But also the fat content of the skin or the horny layer can significantly influence the result. Just the hairy body parts should be protected with a fat cream.

Leave out the areas where wrinkles tend to form or skim the self-tanner in these areas only very thinly. Especially smoothly, you should make the transitions from hand to arms and from foot to leg and best with a cotton ball or a special glove dab the tincture and circulate circulating. Avoid self-tanners who come up with a whole range of artificial ingredients and parabens, leaving an unpleasant odor on the skin.

Not to be neglected is the best before date. Observe the manufacturer’s information on how much time a self-tanner needs to be used up once it has been opened. The recommended period of use is often six months. Thereafter, the DHA components have completely dissolved and a tanning effect is missing.

Which self-tanner does not color?

Actually, almost all manufacturers promise that their self-tanner will not stain. The reality often looks different. You have no choice but to test. It is best to use a spot that is not obvious at first glances, like the legs.

Instructions: How to apply the self-tanner correctly

If you want to achieve the best effect, apply the self-tanner evenly. To achieve the best possible result, first, treat the cornea with a scrub. Otherwise, it would turn darker. To full effect, it comes about an hour after application. Light skin increases the risk of yellowish brown shades.

Since 1999, there are airbrush systems that spray DHA by hand or shower for a few seconds on the skin. The tanning agent concentrations for creams and lotions are 4 – 11%. During treatment, you should hold your breath and do not inhale DHA if possible. One of the common drawbacks of DHA is its often unnaturally yellow color or an ugly, piebald pigmentation. On top of that, every 10th user can fail. The desired browning is missing. There is also a very characteristic aroma that you can hardly cover even with perfume.

10 tips to increase the effect of the self-tanner

  1. Prepare the skin for an even tan. Tanning cream can feed well on smooth skin. Therefore, you should thoroughly depilate and exfoliate your body.
  2. Apply a thin film of moisturizer. The lotion balances dry skin and ensures that the self-tanner better absorbs.
  3. The problem is the treatment of the keratinized skin, such as the elbow, knee, and ankle. The stronger the stratum corneum is, the darker the skin becomes at this point. Take extra care with the tanning agent on the heavily keratinized areas, then rub over with a damp cotton pad.
  4. Especially on the face, you should be careful, as the tanning on the hairy areas, such as the eyebrows and the hairline, irregular precipitates. Protect these areas with some moisturizer to avoid unsightly edges.
  5. Not every self-tanner is suitable for the face, you must use special care products that do not require alcohol and perfume.
  6. Wash hands and finger spaces after application to avoid unsightly discoloration.
  7. The self-tanners should move in for the next 10 to 20 minutes. It is best not to wear clothes during this time. Otherwise, the creams leave unsightly stains.
  8. Badly reachable body parts, such as the back or the shoulder blades, reach you only with difficulty alone. Here sprays help for a nice brown back.
  9. Hold back in dosage and slowly approach your ideal. It often takes one to three hours for a tanner to take full effect.
  10. If you are not satisfied with the result, take a hot bath. The hot water makes the upper skin layer swell. With scrub stains and edges quickly become a thing of the past.

When to apply self-tanner?

Take time for applying. It is best to use the self-tanner in the evening. Hustle and time pressure have a negative effect and lead to most mistakes. After an extensive bath and exfoliation, the skin is well prepared for an evening tan, which can be intensively absorbed overnight.

Self-tanner: when does he work?

The full effect can take different lengths. Here is a look at the package instructions. In any case, you should apply the creams and lotions and let them work for the next 10 to 15 minutes. The tanned result is often determined after hours.

Self-tanner – how long does the tan last?

Unfortunately, the effect does not last long and eases again after the first few days. Depending on your choice, you can apply creams to counteract lightening. The effect of the self-tanner depends on the manufacturer, the intensity of the DHA and last but not least on your skin. Basically, however, it can not be assumed that the initial tanning effect lasts more than a week. If you have decided to brown with the help of lotions, creams, sprays, and mousses, you should be prepared for regular use.

When to wash off the self-tanner?

Especially at the beginning, a mishap is not rare. A hot tub, a scrub or a hard bath sponge and already the spots are histories. If the skin becomes lighter and reduces the effect of the tanning agent, you should take action and wash off any leftovers. In this case, it is not recommended to simply apply a new layer of cream or lotion. The results are much too uneven.

Why does the self-tanner not work?

Unfortunately, there are people in whom the self-tanner has only a limited effect. Sometimes it may be that you have not opted for the right product that matches your skin color or complexion. In other cases, users have completely over-imagined ideas of the effect of a tanning agent.



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